Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Holidays!

As I relax after dinner and contemplate my next 'bus' project I wanted to take a minute and wish everyone a happy, happy holiday season however you celebrate it!

Jack's cabled scarf was a huge surprise and a big success! The Mirasol Sulka in a Juniper blue was just a joy to work with! I have an off centered very simple cable with moss stitch and it's lovely!

Jack was lovely to me in return and I received another Ott Lite, this one with a magnifying panel! I also got wool, an alpaca blend and a cashmere blend..the Vogue Ultimate Knitting Guide (YES! LOVE THAT BOOK!) as well as new subscriptions to Interweave Knits and Vogue Knitting for 2008! There were also 2 smaller volumes dedicated to spinning and a ton of new clothes!

The down side is we discovered today that our eldest cat Emily has a urinary tract infection...we worry so about her as our old, overweight girl! We started an antibiotic and will follow up with the vet later this week.

Happy holidays and peace to all of you*


Sunday, December 9, 2007

No News

Sadly, all my knitting effort at this point is secret holiday gift that I can't photograph for fear of spoiling the surprise for Jack.

I cast on the 247 (groan) stitches for the knitted edging for the Adara shawl, knitted the first of 5 pattern rows and ended up with 4 extra stitches. (Insert cursing that bears remarkable similarity to pucker) Tried to tink THAT and found another mistake so I not so cheerfully ripped all of it out and cast on again.

At this point my darling Jack revealed my birthday present..an OTT Lite! YAY! I sat in it's otherworldly glow while watching the fight on HBO in utter glee!

RaAnn for whatever reason deleted alot of her groups with no notice. One of these, Shawls and Scarves Etc. has been recreated in Yahoo at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ILoveKandCAlongs/. We will be starting the Icelandic Shawl in January along with other smaller KAL's and CAL's. Come join us!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Blocking Boards and cable

So along with knitting and knitting on the Adara shawl (on the last repeat section OH YEAH) I’ve been working on this blocking board so I will actually have somewhere to stretch it out and shape it.

Last year somewhere on a blog I saw the version that spawned my blocking board. It is by no means original and many thanks to whoever posted this originally, I’m sorry I don’t remember who you are!

I bought a 6-pack of Styrofoam panels at Home Depot (actually I had Jack pick them up while she was at work). They were a little thin but dirt cheap (like 6 bucks) so first I glued together 3 sections of 2 panels each.

Then, I put double sided tape onto one side and covered them with gingham fabric with 1 inch squares (about 4 bucks at Joann’s with a 50% coupon). Then on the back side where it wouldn’t be getting damp I used craft glue to secure the rest of the fabric.

Then I took Velcro strips and fixed it so I could attach all three boards together for a bigger item, end to end for a long scarf, etc. etc. Apart, they’ll take up a relatively small bit of our space when not in use. Together, it will block a fairly large piece, I have built in measurements in the fabric and my bed won’t be damp when I move it for the night! I’ll take more pics of it in action when I finish this shawl!

My lace is totally stalled. Enough said. My other new project can’t be posted because it’s getting too close to that holiday and the recipient reads this blog! My only other knitting news is finally trying a cable and guess what!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Mystic Waters Stalled!

I have stalled at row 65 on the KAL and I cannot get past it! ARGH! I have tinked now 5 times and redone it all with the same results. I’m going to try one more time with the written instructions and if that doesn’t work I’ll have to frog, I suppose. (muttermumble)

I had to lay it aside, it was making me too crazy. Instead, I’ve been knitting again on the Adara shawl. After doing Mystic Waters this pattern now feels like a mindless snore, exactly what I need to get it finished with no more mistakes! I have about 36 more rows to do and it will be (finally) finished.

I’m really anxious to see if it softens up a little with blocking, the linen content is a touch rough. Anyone else out there knitted anything with the Elann Adara? Please tell me how you liked it with time! It’s also looking a little grubby to me after so many months OTN. It will be nice to brighten it up with a washing.

Here’s a picture of the Adara as it stands..it is traveling with me everywhere because I am determined to finish it and then re-start Mystic Waters. It’s just a little huge!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Mystic Waters KAL

I started this KAL because I love lace and thought it would be a great forum for a 'first leap'. So far that's very true! I also promised myself I would not allow 'keep up' anxiety because even I know the fastest way to muck up lace is to rush madly along. I've done some great mad-rushing in my time and the frogging afterwards is not worth it!

That said, I finished chart A today - it's probably a little less than half the first clue and I'm pretty happy with the results - first laceweight, first chart attempt! The red background is AWFUL but it was the best I could do at work - I pinned it to the door of an overhead cubicle bin.

I think I see a missing loop but it's far enough back that I'll probably just chalk it up to experience and try to block it open later.

I also have several socks going and an absolutely HORRID hot pink/black hat for this gal at work that's clearly palette-challenged (shudder) People look at me on the bus and I say "She picked her own colors" defensively before they even ask. You'll not see pictures of that till it's finished in all it's horrible glory. Bleh.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Knitting about

I haven’t been blogging this week; I’ve been knitting! I finished a hat/scarf in Kochoran for my friend Nancy’s birthday and tried to knit the swatch for the Mystic Waters Mystery KAL a dozen or so times in the Alpaca Cloud from Knit Picks. I kept finding mistakes and ripping back which sort of scared me since the shawl starts today. I’d already swatched once in a laceweight (Shimmer) so I decided that the knitting goddesses would not strike me down if I started in the alpaca. Here it is 15 rows along:

This is my first laceweight project, my first KAL and my first mystery knit. I think it’s pretty fun and I swear I’m not going to necessarily pressure myself to ‘keep up’. Deadlines and knitting combined make me very cranky. Just ask Jack.

I’ve also finally started socks again since lace and the Chicago Transit Authority (aka The Bus) don’t get along well – I decided I was attempting a pattern that was too ambitious and reverted to my nice, neat k2 p2 ribbing. I read on one of my lists where someone did both socks at once in sections to avoid second sock syndrome and I’m trying it. I have one cuff done:

I’m starting the second cuff on my new Knit Picks dpn’s – I’ll be interested to see if my gauge is any different with the metal! I’m also still doing a few stitches here and there on the Adara shawl, I refuse to give up on it!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Virtual Vacation Swap!

Good grief! It’s been such an exciting morning! Months ago, I joined the Knitters Virtual Vacation Swap. Well, my secret tour guide was unable to complete my tour for whatever reason so I was assigned an ‘Angel Pal’ and today my package arrived from Laurie! It was sooooo heavy and I could not wait till I got home to open it! Inside I found:

A ‘tour’ of Lowville, New York – Laurie told me she learned a lot about her town that she never knew from this!

Two patterns – one sock pattern and one for legwarmers and a hat!

Knit Picks ‘Dancing’ sock yarn in a beautiful fall colorway and Sassy Stripes (which I LOVE), enough for 2 pairs of socks.

Two lavender ‘wands’ made from lavender out of Laurie’s garden – These are SO clever, I adore them! Also, a bar of lavender soap from a soap company just up the road.

Trail Mix (with M&M’s!) and Garlic Sesame sticks from an Amish grocer in the neighborhood.

A yummy pineapple sage candle and CafĂ© de Oriente coffee – this is going to be soooooo wonderful next Saturday morning – I love coffee!

A jar of honey peach jam (Laurie, did you make this yourself?) that I can barely wait to open. Can I have jam for lunch??

Dearest of all to me was a little felted pumkin that Laurie made herself! I adore knitted gifts from others, knowing the work that goes into it! I love seasonal decorations but Jack and I don’t have very many yet ‘together’. This pumpkin will spend the rest of the season on our kitchen table J

Laurie, I can’t thank you enough for putting such thought into my package. It really made my day and probably my week!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Mystic Waters Lace

I have joined the Mystic Waters Mystery Shawl KAL and it is due to start October 24th. Anna is still accepting knitters so if you’re interested go here:


I have some Lorna’s Laces Helen’s Lace for this but I have to take it back to Loopy and have it wound. A swatch was published and I couldn’t wait to try it so I used some Knit Picks Shimmer I already had wound and here’s what I got:

It is 6 inches wide by 6.5 inches tall and I love it! This is my first attempt at lace weight knitting and also my first KAL! (My damn cat grabbed it off my desk while I was looking for a needle to weave in my ends! X@!*#) (In 10 seconds she ATE the entire 10 inch thread, gnawed it off right at the edge – see above where it says DAMN CAT)

I decided I was going to make my own blocking board since my honey works at Home Depot and just adores it when I send lists of ‘bring this home’. We are tight on space so I want it in pieces that I can join depending on the size of the project. I’m going to use Velcro strips for the joins. Below are the materials – we’ll see how it works out!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Branching Out

I came right down to the wire on the Branching Out scarf for my mother's birthday, what with spinning my homework and my typical 'home stretch' loss of interest in looking at that yarn for several more inches. I stopped at 37 inches in the Panda Cotton yarn which has a bit of elastic.

After blocking (and I'm sure I was tenatively blocking, it's the first time I've done this!) I ended up with 57 inches of 6 inch-wide lace. I was blocking Saturday morning and it had to be dry by 6 PM for the birthday dinner so outside it went into the breezy day. (I nearly died later while out running errands when it looked like rain). I'm quite pleased with it (and myself!) now that all is said and done. So pleased that like a total masochist I signed up for the Mystic Water KAL. Sign ups are open till 10/24. (yes, I'm enabling, so what).

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Spun out!

It was a really exciting week for me - I had to spin what seemed like MILES of yarn on my wooden-dowel-old-CD spindle for my Tuesday night class at Loopy. I worked very hard and finished the required 120 feet during my lunch break that day. I went to class only to find no one else had made their yarn! Pah! I got to spin on 4 different wheels that night and it was comical. I had twist for miles and nothing drafted for it! Out of the 4 I tried, I think I liked the Ashford Joy the best but it was really brief trials, just 15 or 20 minutes on each. I'll have to go back and try some more!
Below is some of my spindling - the green on the right is shetland that I learned has been carded but not combed, which explains why I have such difficulty trying to work with it.

And here is the distaff I made with my first spun yarn:
I also finished the Branching Out scarf just in time for mom's birthday - I blocked it this morning (the birthday is TODAY) and put it out on the balcony to dry. I'll get pictures of that up Monday. Needing mindless knitting for public transportation, I grabbed this:
Only to find that I had grabbed the WRONG size needles once I got on the bus. ARGH! Once I got to work I tried to utilize a pair of chopsticks:
Clearly that didn't work very well. Finally an understanding co-worker lent me their car and I ran out for needles on my lunch break. I ended up carting the Miski home (I am LOVING the Marisol yarns!) and instead started this hat. We are off to take Mom to My Pie - I can't wait to see how she likes her scarf!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Another Hat!

I'm happy to report that the Mirasol Sulka worked up just beautifully into a lovely hat. It is so yummy to work with that I've had to FORCE myself back to mom's birthday scarf that must be finished by the 29th. (Feh! I'm so mad at myself over the scarf, I'm continually miscounting and having to tink) I want to finish a nice gift for her though; she's bringing me back WOOL from Ireland and if I know my mother she'll say "Oh..that doesn't look like very much, I better get several!" My stash is drooling in anticipation of such esteemed foreign travellers!
As you may have noticed, I haven't 'quite' mastered the art of blog-buttons just yet but I'm working on it.
We're off to the casino tonight to celebrate our friend Debera's birthday. I could give a hoot for gambling but Jack gave me fun money..if I don't spend it all I can buy more Marisol on Tuesday at my spinning class......The spinning class was cool - Meg's a great teacher but I Am A Klutz. I can't get that whole drafting while spinning thing yet. I draft a bit then spin it (badly) then draft a bit and on and on. Still I persist. Heh.

IMG_1233, originally uploaded by yarnballer.


Monday, September 17, 2007

Spinning and Hats!

I’ve signed up for Spinning 101 at Loopy Yarns starting tomorrow night – I can’t WAIT! I’ll actually get my hands on a wheel before it’s over with! I went Friday night to register and bought some of this:

It’s a merino/alpaca/silk blend and it feels like HEAVEN in my hands. I have a deadline on the lace for my mother’s birthday but I had to cast on a hat with this stuff!

I finished my first ever hat yesterday. It’s Noro Kochoran and that’s another yarn I love working with. Below is Jack who doesn’t want her picture on the internet modeling said hat.

I had notice that a wee mousie had inhabited my office at work. We called the appropriate authorities and they came and made decisions about what was to be done. I wanted nothing to do with it so I left the area and promptly forgot about it.

Until today.

Yep, you guessed it. Something smelled funny, I called for help and then fled the crime scene. Bummer.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Yarns and Parties

It’s been a really busy (but mostly fun!) week. Friday night was Loopy Yarns 2nd birthday party and it was a blast! I’ve never seen so many knitters jammed into such a tight space before and on top of that Franklin was shooting for his 1000 Knitters project!
I finally found a free chair and sat down to chat (and knit) with some other like minded folks. The Ravelry conversations crack me up; it reminds me of the early days of the internet when everyone had AOL and the big topic was what your screen name was. Now it’s “who are you on Ravelry?”

I am loving Ravelry, by the way – I just can’t spend much time online at all with my computer in a crash state currently.

I gave in to temptation at Loopy and bought 1 (ONE) teeny skein of yarn. It’s Noro Kochoran and it is going to become a beautiful warm hat (or 2).

The scarf also continues bravely forward – it generated a lot of interest Friday night when folks realized it was a sock yarn.

Jack bought me a prezzie this weekend – she said it SO is me when I’m knitting and it’s the perfect size for a project bag. I think she’s tired of seeing me drag around beat up ziplocks.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Lace Scarf

Again, a sorta grainy shot from my cameraphone. This yarn is working up beautifully now!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Computer Disaster!

My computer decided this morning that it no longer had to connect to the internet in any way, shape or form no matter how I pleaded or threatened. As a result, my blogging may be less frequent for a week or so while I fix this mess.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Knitters Virtual Vacation Swap

I had never joined a swap before although I swapped yarns with a lady overseas for a bit. I'd read the etiquette and made darn sure that I overnighted my tourist's package so it would arrive on Friday.

No Word.

Ok, maybe she went away for the weekend (while my evil inner voice is whispering "She HATED it, you're the worst swapper EVER")

So today I check and still No Word.

The evil whisper escalates to a mad cackle and I begin to lose all faith in my package (even though I thought it was pretty damn nice on Thursday). Finally, a light flickers and I call my shipping guy for a tracking number.

There was some glitcho with the address "Cannot deliver without a valid street number. We have sent the recipient a postcard requesting the correct information". HUH? I mean, if you can't deliver it how in the hell is the postcard going to arrive? Does a postcard stealthily slip through where a shoebox size package cannot?

I had one of the tour guides email my tourist and I left the info in comments on her blog since I didn't want to blow the surprise. She's on her way to pick it up now!

Oh me of little faith.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Panda Cotton

This yarn is BEAUTIFUL. Their colors ROCK. That said, I cannot produce a sock out of this stuff. It is splitty, ravelly, I can't get gauge, etc. etc. etc. Of course I own a zillion balls of it. I decided to experiment and knitted the lace pattern for the Branching Out scarf and wet it and blocked it. I've since decided I Like It and unorthodox as it may be I'm going to do the scarf in it. (This is not the blocked tester, this is the work in progress.

The KnitPicks Shimmer just wasn't right for this pattern. The solid areas didn't 'pop' and the holes didn't look like lace, they just looked like holes.

It was a good 3 day weekend even though I had work related stuff to attend. We rode our bikes and mostly ate healthy so it's all good.

I hope my tourist got her package for the Virtual Knitters Vacation Swap! It should have arrived Friday via UPS but I haven't heard!

Saturday, September 1, 2007


After much agonizing I have admitted to myself that the beautiful yarn I chose for that lace scarf is the 'wrong' yarn for the project. I am frogging it and starting over with another yarn. I'll post an update tomorrow with some pictures and name the yarn (if it works out!)

(fuzzy monkey at the library)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

This and That

The Adara Shawl and I are fighting. I am not speaking to it until it stops removing yarnovers that I know I placed and messing up my count. I have put her in the basket for a time out. I cannot tink the same 200 stitches again this week!

As a distraction I decided to try an easy lace pattern with an actual laceweight. (Note: laceweight and Chicago public transportation do not mix well)

I love the yarn, KnitPicks Shimmer and now that I've tinked it a few times I'm alot more comfortable handling what seems like a thread. Sorry for the grainy shot, it's my cameraphone.
Yesterday I picked up the last item for my tourist in the Virtual Knitting Vacation Swap and got all that mailed off today. It had been awhile since I spent any time at LoopyYarns so it was good to see the ladies there! With volleyball over, I've sworn to make Friday night knitting there a priority at least twice a month!
I have been messing alot with Ravelry too now that I finally got my invite - it is pretty amazing! It kind of boggles me too, I mean I feel rude being able to 'add friends' that bloody well have no clue who I am! The Harlot must be innundated! (No, I didn't add her but I was tempted)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Knitting Helper

This is one of 3 furry helpers I have in my home - her name is Chloe. Her favorite thing in the WORLD is to chase the knob end of a long knitting needle and she does it whether or not I happen to be using the other end! I'll introduce the other 2 in a later post.

This is my boss on his birthday. Welcome to my world. He does, however tolerate the knitting on my desk.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


ravelry > antsy
patiently awaiting your invite?
If you've added your name to the invite request list on our front page then you can use this form to check your place in line.
Email address look me up!
Found you!
You signed up on June 18, 2007
You are #9942 on the list.
293 people are ahead of you in line.
17452 people are behind you in line.
35% of the list has been invited so far

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Projects and Yarn!

This is my ever growing shawl and first effort at 'lace' knitting.....below is THE BAG FROM HELL, my vacation yarns and my yummy wool and spindle. Oh yes, and the Skully facecloth and finally finished wonderful table runner!